Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and diverse dishes. One of the most beloved and iconic foods in Vietnam is the humble dumpling. From north to south, Vietnamese dumplings come in many different shapes, sizes, and flavors. In this blog post, we’ll explore the delicious world of Vietnamese dumplings and show you how to make one of our favorites: Banh Bot Loc.
Banh Bot Loc is a type of Vietnamese dumpling that originated in the central region of Vietnam. These small, translucent dumplings are made from tapioca starch and filled with a savory mixture of pork belly and shrimp. They’re steamed to perfection and served with a tangy dipping sauce for a delicious and satisfying snack or appetizer.
Making Banh Bot Loc at home is easier than you might think. All you need are a few simple ingredients and some basic kitchen tools. The dough is made by mixing tapioca starch with boiling water until it forms a smooth and pliable dough. The filling is made by stir-frying marinated pork belly and shrimp with garlic and green onion.
Once the dough and filling are ready, it’s time to assemble the dumplings. This is the fun part! Flatten each piece of dough with your fingers or a rolling pin to form a thin circle. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle and fold it in half to form a half-moon shape, sealing the edges by pinching them together.
After the dumplings are assembled, they’re placed in a steamer lined with banana leaves or parchment paper and steamed for about 15 minutes until cooked. The result is a tender and translucent dumpling filled with savory pork and shrimp. Serve them hot with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!
In addition to Banh Bot Loc, there are many other types of Vietnamese dumplings to explore. From savory Banh It Tran filled with mung bean paste to sweet Banh Ran filled with sesame seeds and coconut, there’s a Vietnamese dumpling for every taste and occasion.
So why not try making some Vietnamese dumplings at home? It’s a fun and delicious way to explore the rich culinary traditions of Vietnam. And who knows? You might just discover your new favorite food!
- 7 oz tapioca starch
- 3.5 oz fresh small shrimp
- 3.5 oz pork belly
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon MSG
- 1 tablespoon seasoning powder
- 2 tablespoons annatto oil
- 2 tablespoons pepper
- 1 cup boiling water
- Garlic, green onion, shallot
- Start by making the filling. Clean the shrimp and pork belly and cut them into small pieces. Finely chop the green onion, shallot and garlic. Divide the seasoning in half and marinate the shrimp and pork separately for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- After the shrimp and pork have absorbed the seasoning, heat a pan and fry the garlic until golden brown. Then stir-fry the pork until cooked before adding the shrimp as it cooks faster.
- Next, make the dough by pouring boiling water into the flour gradually while stirring. When you have added enough water, knead the dough with your hands until smooth.
- Spread a layer of flour on a flat surface to roll out the dough. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a long rope before cutting into small pieces about 0.8 inches to make the dough for each cake.
- Flatten each piece of dough with your fingers or a rolling pin to form a thin circle. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle and fold it in half to form a half-moon shape, sealing the edges by pinching them together.
- Place the cakes in a steamer lined with banana leaves or parchment paper and steam for about 15 minutes until cooked.
- One way to add more flavor to the filling is to use a combination of ground pork and shrimp instead of pork belly. This will give the filling a more complex flavor and texture. You could also try adding some diced shiitake mushrooms or wood ear fungus for an extra umami boost.
- Another way to enhance the flavor of the filling is to marinate the shrimp and pork in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, and pepper for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with more flavor.
- To make the dough even more tender and translucent, you could try adding a small amount of oil to the dough mixture. This will help to prevent the dough from sticking and make it easier to work with.
- If you want to add some color and extra flavor to the dumplings, you could try adding some finely chopped herbs such as cilantro or green onion to the dough mixture. This will give the dumplings a beautiful green hue and a fresh, herbaceous flavor.
- Finally, you could try serving the Banh Bot Loc with a homemade dipping sauce made from fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chili peppers. This tangy and spicy sauce is the perfect complement to the savory dumplings and will take their flavor to the next level.